Linked by Thom Holwerda on Tue 9th Jan 2007 20:47 UTC, submitted by ciaran
GNU, GPL, Open Source "The following is a transcript of a lecture given by Richard Stallman in Zagreb (Croatia/Hrvatska) on March 9th 2006. The lecture was given in English. Richard Stallman launched the GNU project in 1983, and with it the Free Software movement. Stallman is the president of FSF - a sister organisation of FSFE. Transcription of this presentation was undertaken by Ciarán O'Riordan."
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I'm impressed
by RandomGuy on Tue 9th Jan 2007 21:16 UTC
RandomGuy
Member since:
2006-07-30

I never really liked Stallman but I like his talk.
You need not share his point of view or philosophy.
Nevertheless his arguments are interesting.
You need to get past the first couple of minutes if you listen to it (which is what I'm doing right now) because he is announced in Russian.
Furthermore he starts out rather slowly.

Anyway, GPL bashers need to take a look at it.

Reply Score: 5

v RE: I'm impressed
by ronaldst on Tue 9th Jan 2007 22:32 UTC in reply to "I'm impressed"
RE[2]: I'm impressed
by rhyder on Wed 10th Jan 2007 15:45 UTC in reply to "RE: I'm impressed"
rhyder Member since:
2005-09-28

RMS perhaps has his place in software history but I consider him a loon. What is his point? At times he seems to allude to some sort of vague communism (nothing wrong with that) and then he switches to suggesting that people can form organizations to offer bounties to have features added to software.

How does it work? If people aren't getting paid, how do they develop software, as a hobby? Can anyone make any money out of software? If I release my app as freeware and then write a support book for it, can other people OCR the book and then sell it themselves? If I release the source to my app with an open license, can someone else build it and then sell it for 20% less than me?

I'd really be happy to have someone explain how his model supports itself.

Reply Score: 3

RE[3]: I'm impressed
by ronaldst on Wed 10th Jan 2007 21:24 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: I'm impressed"
ronaldst Member since:
2005-06-29

@rhyder

GNU/RMS's feets aren't grounded properly. Everytime I read about him, I get reminded of L. Ron Hubbard.

Eric S. Raymond/Linus Torvald are both a lot more down to Earth than GNU/RMS.

Reply Score: 2

RE: I'm impressed
by jack_perry on Wed 10th Jan 2007 02:57 UTC in reply to "I'm impressed"
jack_perry Member since:
2005-07-06

You need to get past the first couple of minutes if you listen to it (which is what I'm doing right now) because he is announced in Russian.

Since the talk was in Croatia, I'll bet he is announced in Serbo-Croat, and not Russian.

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: I'm impressed
by dado on Wed 10th Jan 2007 17:29 UTC in reply to "RE: I'm impressed"
dado Member since:
2006-05-01

The language is actualy called "croatian" since the country is Croatia. ;) It is similar to the untrained ear (like for example to me dutch and sweedish sound alike), but the difference exists. Not to say that there was a horrible war beetwen these two nations.

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: I'm impressed
by trenchsol on Thu 11th Jan 2007 22:18 UTC in reply to "RE: I'm impressed"
trenchsol Member since:
2006-12-07

It is very wrong to call Croatian language Serbo-Croatian. Croatian and Serbian people have long history of conflicts. If you ever visit Croatia, don't repeat that.

DG

Reply Score: 1

RE: I'm impressed
by trenchsol on Thu 11th Jan 2007 22:11 UTC in reply to "I'm impressed"
trenchsol Member since:
2006-12-07

I don't attend Stallmans lectures, but I doubt that he was announced in Russian, in Zagreb. Zagreb is the capital of Croatia, and people speak Croatian there.

DG

Reply Score: 1

Stallman's work has my respect.
by porcel on Tue 9th Jan 2007 23:26 UTC
porcel
Member since:
2006-01-28

Stallman understands the history of software development, the theoretical foundations of software and the practical challenges of building modern software in a world in which too many unethical businesses try to abuse the legal system to deter innovation, all of it resulting in less compelling and more restrictive products that benefit no one except a few software/legal /political powerhouses.

I encourage those that mock Stallman to listen to his speeches so that they can hear the man himself, rather than rely on the easy ad-hominec attacks often found on internet forums.

To all of those that contribute to the fsf.org, be it software or money, thank you.

Reply Score: 5

Valhalla Member since:
2006-01-24

well, I've personally never seen anything 'unethical' with propriety software in itself. that said, software that spies on the user or does other non-disclosed operations without his permission is something I do find unethical.

FSF can't prevent people from selling propriety software, but they can and do provide free alternatives. I use both kinds, if I'm choosing between somewhat equal software alternatives I will choose open source over propriety. I personally find Stallman quite extreme in his view on propriety code. that said, he definately has his equals amongst the propriety code advocates.

I'm guessing the main reason behind GPL's success is that most developers take the pragmatic approach and view GPL for what it is, a licence that gives and protects the rights of the end user.

in the end, my stance is simple. it's up to the author of the software to decide if he wants to release it as propriety, BSD, GPLv2, GPLv3, MIT, public domain etc.

anyway, there were some interesting tidbits about windows sending information on what you search for on your harddrive aswell as what software you have installed. anyone knows if there is any evidence backing up these claims?

Reply Score: 4

RE: Stallman's work has my respect.
by Cloudy on Wed 10th Jan 2007 08:26 UTC in reply to "Stallman's work has my respect."
Cloudy Member since:
2006-02-15

Stallman understands the history of software development, the theoretical foundations of software and the practical challenges of building modern software in a world in which too many unethical businesses try to abuse the legal system to deter innovation, all of it resulting in less compelling and more restrictive products that benefit no one except a few software/legal /political powerhouses.

I've known Richard since 1984, when I first sent him patches for GCC and Emacs. We've been out of touch for years, because he doesn't do much development any more and most of the useful bits of GNU-ware are now developed by people outside the FSF.

He really doesn't have much experience with the practical challenges of building modern software, and he's really very bad at it.

The only significant development he ever did was Emacs, and that's just one, albeit large, program. GCC had to be taken over by outsiders and completely rewritten, the HURD has been a fairly major failure, most of the the GNU tools were done and improved by people outside of FSF. None of the useful modern software development tools, such as eclipse, originated with the FSF, and, frankly, the GNU auto* tool suite is a nightmare.

Richard's more of a Ted Nelson figure, out there on the fringe, living off of one good idea he had 20 years ago, then someone who actually understands software development.

And no, I don't mean that unkindly. That's just the way his life has gone.

Reply Score: 3

John Nilsson Member since:
2005-07-06

But then again. GNU was never about technical superiority, it was political from the start. Right?

Reply Score: 4

Cloudy Member since:
2006-02-15

It was about ego from the start. Stallman didn't really get on his politics kick until after the fiasco with Gosling over rights to Emacs. Early in GNU he was pretty much a fascist about ownership, demanding that anyone who contributed code sign over copyright. "Copyleft" and the "four freedoms" came later as a way of rationalizing and justifying the demand for ownership sign over.

Since most of this evolved in the early years when very few people were aware of what he was doing, most people only know the history starting from the GPL and don't know the evolution that led to it.

Reply Score: 3

Sphinx Member since:
2005-07-09

I'm not sure what you've been writing since but software devo has not gotten harder, no more memory overlays, no ega latching, assembly language is almost rarely seen, flat model, you'll have to enlighten us on how no one who's skill set stopped in the eighties could possibly understand how it's done today.
Really, really lost me on that, the only thing I've had to learn new since 1984 is a lot of fad syntax, maybe j2ee but even that is simple compared to back in the day when we had to put our program on one byte at a time.

Reply Score: 3

Cloudy Member since:
2006-02-15

It's not when his skill set stopped, it's what size project it stopped on. RMS wrote code that was intersting to him personally but was unmaintainable by others. The several rewrites of Emacs over the years and the need to completely rewrite gcc are examples of this.

He never had to work to deadline, which has an amazing effect on work flow and development techniques.

He has never had to work to externally imposed specifications or to a QA team's feature complete sign off.

Meanwhile, the HURD failure is pretty much a demonstration that RMS and FSF don't understand managing the development process, even with volunteers, no deadlines, and no external specifications.

He's also never had to meet a payroll, and has absolutely no familiarity with the economics of software development.

This was no less true in '84 than it is now; it's just that the 23 intervening years has made it painfully obvious.

Reply Score: 4

Eben Moglen
by John Nilsson on Tue 9th Jan 2007 23:27 UTC
John Nilsson
Member since:
2005-07-06

Also don't miss Eben Moglen.

Wikipedia has lots of links to his speeches:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eben_Moglen

Reply Score: 5

Yochai Benkler
by John Nilsson on Tue 9th Jan 2007 23:29 UTC
John Nilsson
Member since:
2005-07-06

And for some deeper analysis don't miss Yochai Benkler:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yochai_Benkler

Reply Score: 3

I agree...
by jtrapp on Tue 9th Jan 2007 23:39 UTC
jtrapp
Member since:
2005-07-06

with most of what he has to say. Enforced DRM, WGA, Activation...these are things I find untenable in Windows.

However, Stallman is the classic fundamentalist, attempting to blur the grey and make it all black and white. This approach is good for the choir, but bad for winning new converts.

Reply Score: 4

re
by Oliver on Wed 10th Jan 2007 02:24 UTC
Oliver
Member since:
2006-07-15

Human beings are maybe unethical and not software. But in the end, many real philosophers tried it, to find the answer. Foremost no real philosopher would be ever such determined. So it's RMS very own opinion about freedom, but people should make up their own mind, instead of blindly following some "guru".

Reply Score: 2

Interesting transcript
by Wrawrat on Wed 10th Jan 2007 02:44 UTC
Wrawrat
Member since:
2005-06-30

It was quite an interesting lecture to learn more about his motives and the story of free software... Although I disagree with some of his points (mainly on the ethics of the creation/usage of proprietary software, including at school), it make me realise that he is really genuine in his intentions to make the world a better place.

That said, most people tend to agree with virtue (although they don't necessary follow it)... Furthermore, like some posters already pointed out, he presents a binary vision of the world. At times, he sounds like "the drowning man he wouldn't save" that he jokes about; the "You're either one of us, or you're one of them" spirit is definitely present. Unfortunately, the average person tends to be moderate... While it can polarise his supporters, some people will just dismiss the guy and his whole philosophy even thought they don't disagree with him. Supports might not care, but it's quite a stopper for reaching more people...

The part GNU and Linux caught my attention. Quite a few enthusiasts mentionned in the last month on OSNews that Linus Torvalds sold out, that he was a traitor, a shill... Many voiced their opposition on the usage of the GPL for his project since Linus doesn't share "the spirit of free software".

Yet, RMS mention this:
Once people started using more-or-less the entire GNU system, and thinking it was Linux, then, using the GNU system no longer lead people to our philosophy - that I've told you today, the philosophy of the Free Software movement - instead it lead people to look at the philosophy of the developer of Linux. [Linus] has never agreed with the ideals of the Free Software movement.

So, in the end, it seems Linus was never a "traitor". After all, he merely used the licence as he was legally entitled to.

There is something I don't understand: if RMS knew they were going to have a clash of ideals sooner or later, why the FSF adopted the kernel as the final part of their project (by considering their goal of having a "free computer" as done)? The FSF folks got very strong, immutable ideals... Although Linux is free software, adopting a software controlled by somebody going against their ideals is quite strange. Some are voicing that Linux should get another licence, yet they accept the kernel. Shouldn't they be the ones making the change? Food for thought...

Anyway, kudos to RMS, but I still favour pragmatism.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Interesting transcript
by TechGeek on Wed 10th Jan 2007 05:11 UTC in reply to "Interesting transcript"
TechGeek Member since:
2006-01-14

RMS didnt really have a choice in the development of Linux. He was working on Hurd at the same time Linus was writing Linux. However, the Linux kernel became much more usable quicker, and so it won out. People built an OS around the FSF tools with Linux as the kernel. Had RMS gotten hurd out the door quicker, we might all be using Gnu instead of Linux. Who knows if it would have attracted the same following though. RMS is very staunch in his views while Linus tends to be more practical. That refusal to bend at all may have left Gnu along the wayside. We certainly wouldn't have nividia drivers or decent wireless support under Gnu.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Interesting transcript
by da_Chicken on Wed 10th Jan 2007 08:04 UTC in reply to "RE: Interesting transcript"
da_Chicken Member since:
2006-01-01

We certainly wouldn't have nividia drivers or decent wireless support under Gnu.

That's not true. X.org includes an open&free nvidia driver, it just doesn't support 3D acceleration. And now there's a project, called Nouveau, working on a free nvidia driver that should add 3D support sometime in the future.

You also mention that "RMS is very staunch in his views while Linus tends to be more practical." I beg to disagree. The Linux kernel would now be dead and forgotten if there wasn't the pragmatic GPL to protect it. The BitKeeper incident showed that Linus is willing to make compromises and to idealistically believe that people are always nice and things will turn out all right. But Linus got bitten in the ass by the proprietary software that he used. RMS is much too pragmatic to make a similar mistake.
http://www.infoworld.com/article/05/05/02/18OPopenent_1.html

Reply Score: 4

RE[3]: Interesting transcript
by Morin on Wed 10th Jan 2007 14:09 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Interesting transcript"
Morin Member since:
2005-12-31

> That's not true. X.org includes an open&free nvidia driver, it just
> doesn't support 3D acceleration.

There is no point in arguing again and again whether this can be considered an "nvidia driver" if it doesn't support the card's features. Fact is that people who own an nvidia card have chosen it over other cards because of those features, and a driver that doesn't support the features is of little use for them.

> And now there's a project, called Nouveau, working on a free nvidia
> driver that should add 3D support sometime in the future.

This is a valid argument once they have reached their goal and the driver is available, and no earlier.

Reply Score: 4

RE[2]: Interesting transcript
by sbergman27 on Wed 10th Jan 2007 14:59 UTC in reply to "RE: Interesting transcript"
sbergman27 Member since:
2005-07-24

"""Had RMS gotten hurd out the door quicker, we might all be using Gnu instead of Linux."""

Yeah, and if we could eat rocks we could use them for food. ;-)

Hurd predates Linux and *still* is not "out the door".

FSF has been trying to come up with a usable kernel for 21 years. (There was a previous attempt to base their kernel upon the TRIX kernel in the 80's... an attempt which failed utterly.)

In the end, Richard had no choice but to leech off of Linux, despite ideological differences.

Richard can be pragmatic, too, when it is necessary to further his political interests.

Edited 2007-01-10 15:16

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Interesting transcript
by eMagius on Wed 10th Jan 2007 23:54 UTC in reply to "RE: Interesting transcript"
eMagius Member since:
2005-07-06

Had RMS gotten hurd out the door quicker, we might all be using Gnu instead of Linux.

Had RMS not used the AT&T copyright dispute to launch a campaign of FUD against BSD, we'd be using cleaner, freer, more standards-compliant, and more secure systems and he'd fade into obscurity as nothing more than the author of a fringe text editor.

But let's not get all caught up in "what-if"s, mkay? ;)

[For the record, I can't be too bitter: I'm posting this from an Ubuntu install that replaced OpenBSD on my laptop.]

Edited 2007-01-11 00:04

Reply Score: 4

RE: Interesting transcript
by MollyC on Wed 10th Jan 2007 06:56 UTC in reply to "Interesting transcript"
MollyC Member since:
2006-07-04

"So, in the end, it seems Linus was never a "traitor". After all, he merely used the licence as he was legally entitled to."

"Infidel" is probably more appropriate (according to the true believers).

Reply Score: 4

RE[2]: Interesting transcript
by cyclops on Wed 10th Jan 2007 07:41 UTC in reply to "RE: Interesting transcript"
cyclops Member since:
2006-03-12

@MollyC Normally your so good. Its not like you to lower yourself to mudslinging.

lets avoid religious terms because it is not even close to a religion, using words like zealots of cultist its a little daft.

Edited 2007-01-10 07:43

Reply Score: 5

RE[3]: Interesting transcript
by sbergman27 on Wed 10th Jan 2007 16:28 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Interesting transcript"
sbergman27 Member since:
2005-07-24

"""lets avoid religious terms because it is not even close to a religion, using words like zealots of cultist its a little daft."""

Most of us would consider basing our religions upon FS to be insanity.

However, it seems (unfortunately) that there is a significant contingent who do exactly that, with Richard as their prophet.

Fortunately, few seem to consider him an actual God, possibly due to deficiencies in physique:


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Lycian_Apollo_Louvre_left.jpg

http://gnucvs.vlsm.org/people/saintignucius.big.jpg


Thank Heaven for small miracles, huh? ;-)

Reply Score: 2

RE: Interesting transcript
by pinky on Wed 10th Jan 2007 14:32 UTC in reply to "Interesting transcript"
pinky Member since:
2005-07-15

>There is something I don't understand: if RMS knew they were going to have a clash of ideals sooner or later, why the FSF adopted the kernel as the final part of their project (by considering their goal of having a "free computer" as done)?

Because Linux is Free Software and so it can be used in the free operating system called GNU. GNU also uses X, Apache, KDE and many other Free Software. GNU Classpath will stop and in the future GNU will use Sun Java, etc.. Are their philosophy identical to the GNU philosophy? At least some of them may have another philosophy but this doesn't matter on the practical goal to have a free OS. On the political end it would matter but on the political end the FSFs doesn't work together with this people.

Edited 2007-01-10 14:42

Reply Score: 3

RE: Stallman's work has my respect.
by npang on Wed 10th Jan 2007 05:37 UTC
npang
Member since:
2006-11-26

Stallman also has my respect. His essays on Free software have converted me from the mindset of Open Source is better that Closed Source to one of Non-Free software is anti-ethical to the four freedoms of Free software and should be avoided. His essays are well written and they show me a person that truly understands the issues being discussed.

I've been hacking software since 1994 and have sold licenses to my software under the mindset of this software is my work, pay me money and I'll grant you the privilege to use it - the sort of mindset that many non-Free software vendors have.

When I learned about the concepts of Open Source software, at first, I thought it was a bad idea, because it conflicted with my original mindset of "my software". After a while I learned about the benefits of Open Source and warmed up to the idea. I really liked the idea of Open Source when I started hearing about Linux* - an enterprise quality operating system that allowed users to tinker with the code to make it better. I started dual booting Linux and Windows. For a while, Open Source software was better than Closed Source and Closed Source wasn't particularly bad.

Around this time, I started seeing instances of GNU, Stallman and FSF. If not for the people that mocked Stallman and bashed his ideas, I wouldn't have bothered with finding out about Free software. These comments led me to find Stallman's essay of Free software. I read them but still maintained the opinion that Non-Free software was not bad. After some time dealing with negative issues relating to Non-Free Software, I started realising that Stallman was onto something when he speaks about non-Free software that subjugates the user.

When I heard the news of the Sony rootkit scandal, I knew I was affected. The CDs that I bought from a legitimate music store caused a major security breach on my personal computer system for the sake of "protecting Sony's revenue stream". If not for the exposure to Stallman's essays, I would have accepted the scandal as "another part of doing business". It was at that point that I knew that I couldn't trust non-Free software any more. I moved all my data off the Windows partition then removed the partition itself. I read all of Stallman's essays once again and found myself agreeing with all his issues relating to freedom in software.

Stallman has been correct about what he says about user-subjugating software. User-subjugating software is often designed to take control from the user and place it to the author/vendor of the software to make the user helpless from improving his own situation. His essays are well written and they show me a person that truly understands the issues being discussed. I place great respect upon him and his works. I urge you to listen to this man for when he speaks of issues relating to computers, he is doing it for the benefit of mankind.

* I now believe the GNU/Linux Operating System should be referred to as GNU/Linux for the same reasons stated by Stallman.

Edited 2007-01-10 05:48

Reply Score: 5

Rufus Member since:
2007-01-10

Stallman also has my respect. [...] His essays are well written and they show me a person that truly understands the issues being discussed.

I respectfully disagree. His essays are full of propaganda [1]. I admit, he probably thinks he's right but that nothing unusual for people like him. Of course, you're entitle to your own opinion, just as I'm entitled to mine.

First, let's have a look at your own "enlightment" if I may say so:

When I heard the news of the Sony rootkit scandal, I knew I was affected. [...] If not for the exposure to Stallman's essays, I would have accepted the scandal as "another part of doing business".

This might have been true for you, but this does not imply it would have been true for everybody else.

Let's look at the facts: The Sony scandal was covered by many major newspapers. Everybody read about it. It was featured in TV. It was obviously considered unethical by a majority of people.

On the other hand, the last release of some proprietary software vendor was not in the news. Nobody read about except the interested. It was not featured on TV. It was obviously not considered unethical by a majority of people.

Is this not an empirical proof that most people have a very detailed idea about ethical behaviour of software companies? They were shocked at Sony's actions but they were not shockea at the lastest proprietary software release. This seems to imply that proprietary software in general is not a major concern to people, just the wrong behaviour of some proprietary companies.

However, let's have a look at the essays you found to be well written, too:

In the GNU Manifesto [2], Stallman lists 10 "easily rebutted" objections against GNU's goals. Please read all of them carefully. They are nothing but straw man arguments [3] (except one) For example, where did Stallman rebut the "hard-to-rebut objections" against free software? Is using straw man arguments not a propaganda technique?

Next, why should free software be the ethical choice? One argument, Stallman uses, is that it lets you "help your neighbor!" However, you can use a lot of free software and still be a complete asshole who does not help his neighbor. On the other hand, you can use proprietary software and still help your neighbor -- for example, by spending him a few hundred dollars so he can afford proprietary software!

In other words: Whether you help your neighbor or not, has nothing to do with free or proprietary software! The issues are not related. In other words: Stallman is using propaganda techniques here, too.

These are just two examples althought I could continue to write about lots of unanswered questions, wrong assumptions, and bad words used by Richard Stallman in his essays.

I'm not going to argue that there are no problems in today's software world. That is not true: We do have problems. However, Stallman want's us to believe that free software is the only cure, the only option we have. Probably, he believes this himselves because he never really questioned his own ideas -- a usual mistake many people do.

However, that does not imply that his ideas are right for sociaty in general.

To me it seems, Stallman wants us to believe that "All software should be free!" I think it's sufficient that "Some software should be free!"

Time will tell.

[1] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Propaganda
[2] http://www.gnu.org/gnu/manifesto.html
[3] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Straw_man

Reply Score: 5

rajj Member since:
2005-07-06

None of the rebuttal's strike me as straw men. How about some elaboration? I'm also not sure what you're talking about with "hard-to-rebut objections" in quotes when the phrase doesn't even appear in the text. Simply shouting straw man and pointing eagerly does not make it so. I've also found that using the word propaganda is an often used form of propaganda.

Speaking of straw man arguments, you committed one yourself. _Using_ Free Software is not the same as _contributing_ to Free Software. Indeed, by contributing you are helping your neighbor. Nobody claimed that being a leach helps anyone other than one's self.

The manifesto was written to ask for help in writing the GNU system and is geared towards developers. It is not a list of reasons for why users should _use_ Free Software, but why developers should _write_ Free Software.

Reply Score: 3

Nice philosophy...
by DrillSgt on Wed 10th Jan 2007 06:10 UTC
DrillSgt
Member since:
2005-12-02

..but then Richard Stallman has never truly worked. he has ALWAYS been in a research type position. He currently makes his money off of only speaking fees. He does have some good ideas, however his ideas in the long run, with enough followers, will ruin the computer industry as it is. Imagine millions of people laid off from work due to the fact that "We will use what others code for free". There is no such thing as a free lunch, and programmers need to get paid somehow.

Reply Score: 3

RE: Nice philosophy...
by Morin on Wed 10th Jan 2007 14:03 UTC in reply to "Nice philosophy..."
Morin Member since:
2005-12-31

> Imagine millions of people laid off from work due to the fact that "We
> will use what others code for free".

This is a necessary cost of progress. Look at history, and you will see more examples. The very same progress in automation that enables every average person to have a car, a computer, and whatever, also caused millions to become unemployed, because their manual labour was not needed anymore. If you argue this way, then you also have to argue against progress in general.

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: Nice philosophy...
by DrillSgt on Wed 10th Jan 2007 15:35 UTC in reply to "RE: Nice philosophy..."
DrillSgt Member since:
2005-12-02

"This is a necessary cost of progress. Look at history, and you will see more examples. The very same progress in automation that enables every average person to have a car, a computer, and whatever, also caused millions to become unemployed, because their manual labour was not needed anymore. If you argue this way, then you also have to argue against progress in general."

Not at all, progress is good. The fact is that that was manual labor. Software Programming is mental labor, and we are not talking about replacing a person with a machine that can do the same job faster and better. Your analogy would apply if we were making computers to come up with ideas and do all the coding automatically, but instead we are talking about an industry that makes no money. Unfortunately it is money that makes the world go round. Try not having any and enjoy the overpass.

Reply Score: 3

RE[3]: Nice philosophy...
by Morin on Wed 10th Jan 2007 21:39 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Nice philosophy..."
Morin Member since:
2005-12-31

> Not at all, progress is good. The fact is that that was
> manual labor. Software Programming is mental labor, and
> we are not talking about replacing a person with a
> machine that can do the same job faster and better. [...]

A lot of progress in the software world *is* replacing human work by machines (mostly compilers), but not so in this case, that's right. I cannot really give a better analogy because the foundation that free software builds on is an aspect of information that does not apply to any other produced goods (namely, that it can be copied without cost).

Still I think my point is valid: Having several programmers re-write equivalent code over and over again is a waste of human resources, and that waste can be avoided by copying the code once it is finished, which is exactly the aim of free software.

Although it means damage to those programmers who become unemployed and have to apply for other jobs, or seek training for new jobs first, this is the meaning of progress. For example, your opinion about manual labour doesn't change the fact that the manual workers became unemployed, and whatever the overall improvement for mankind was, the major impact on *them* was that they had to look for another job.

> [...] but instead we are talking about an industry
> that makes no money.

Actually, it means that this branch of industry disappears. Not making money won't keep an industry up for long.

> Unfortunately it is money that makes the world go
> round. Try not having any and enjoy the overpass.

I think we agree on that.

Reply Score: 3

RE: Nice philosophy...
by npang on Wed 10th Jan 2007 06:24 UTC
npang
Member since:
2006-11-26

> Imagine millions of people laid off from work due to the fact that "We will use what others code for free".

You are assuming that Free software developers do not or will not get paid. What makes you say that?

Edited 2007-01-10 06:26

Reply Score: 5

RE[2]: Nice philosophy...
by DrillSgt on Wed 10th Jan 2007 06:34 UTC in reply to "RE: Nice philosophy..."
DrillSgt Member since:
2005-12-02

"You are assuming that Free software developers do not or will not get paid. What makes you say that?"

The "Majority" of free software developers do not get paid for the free software they develop. They do it on the side of their regular job that pays them to develop proprietary software. There are a few companies that employ developers for such things, but very few. Canonical, Mandriva, RedHat, Suse and Linspire come to mind.

Reply Score: 3

RE[3]: Nice philosophy...
by John Nilsson on Wed 10th Jan 2007 10:21 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Nice philosophy..."
John Nilsson Member since:
2005-07-06

First. Where do you get those numbers from?
Second. Would all that "proprietary" software they get paid for cease being worth paying for would it be free software?

I've heard different figures, but at least 50% of the industry works on development that doesn't depend on copyright (i.e not shrinkwrap).

See Benklers work for an excellent analysis of the economy of it all.

Reply Score: 5

RE[4]: Nice philosophy...
by DrillSgt on Wed 10th Jan 2007 15:31 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Nice philosophy..."
DrillSgt Member since:
2005-12-02

"First. Where do you get those numbers from?
Second. Would all that "proprietary" software they get paid for cease being worth paying for would it be free software? "


Actually yes. There are too many of the "free as in beer" crowd. I'll check into the 50% bit, but I have yet to actually meet anyone that gets paid for working on OSS projects. I know some that contribute when they can, but do not know a single one that gets paid for what they work on. 50% would indicate 1 out of every 2.

Reply Score: 2

RE[5]: Nice philosophy...
by Cloudy on Wed 10th Jan 2007 18:54 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Nice philosophy..."
Cloudy Member since:
2006-02-15

Actually yes. There are too many of the "free as in beer" crowd. I'll check into the 50% bit, but I have yet to actually meet anyone that gets paid for working on OSS projects. I know some that contribute when they can, but do not know a single one that gets paid for what they work on. 50% would indicate 1 out of every 2.

IBM pays, at last count, about 1200 people to work on OSS projects, mostly Linux related. HP has about 300. MontaVista is an entire company of people paid, in part, to work on OSS projects. I have been paid to work on OSS projects. Linus, of course, is currently paid to work on OSS projects. RMS has, at times, been paid to work on OSS projects. GCC is currently mostly maintained by CodeSourcery, a company which exists by working on OSS projects. Did I mention RedHat and Novell both pay people to work full time on OSS projects? Ubuntu is developed by people paid to work full time on OSS projects.

Attend the next Ottawa Linux Symposium. You will be unable to turn around without encountering people who are paid to work on OSS projects.

I don't have hard numbers, but I would guess, based on an unscientific survey of source forge, that there's a very high correlation between an OSS project's success and the percent of the work done by people paid to work on it.

And that's before you count all of the people who work on these projects on their employer's time without formal permission but with tacit approval.

Reply Score: 5

RE[6]: Nice philosophy...
by DrillSgt on Wed 10th Jan 2007 19:07 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: Nice philosophy..."
DrillSgt Member since:
2005-12-02

"IBM pays, at last count, about 1200 people to work on OSS projects, mostly Linux related. HP has about 300. MontaVista is an entire company of people paid, in part, to work on OSS projects. I have been paid to work on OSS projects. Linus, of course, is currently paid to work on OSS projects. RMS has, at times, been paid to work on OSS projects. GCC is currently mostly maintained by CodeSourcery, a company which exists by working on OSS projects. Did I mention RedHat and Novell both pay people to work full time on OSS projects? Ubuntu is developed by people paid to work full time on OSS projects."

Okay, that is more then I thought. Which brings the count to about 10000 or so paid to develop OSS worldwide. Still small in the scheme of things. I had mentioned Ubuntu (Canonical), Redhat and Suse (Novell) in my post. I was not aware of IBM working on OSS projects, though I know they do Websphere, Tivoli and such, none of which is OSS, but it does run on OSS platforms. Either way that is a rather small number of developers getting paid compared to the number of developers out there. Current estimates for worldwide software developers are at 15 Million.

Reply Score: 2

RE[7]: Nice philosophy...
by schiesbn on Wed 10th Jan 2007 20:34 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: Nice philosophy..."
schiesbn Member since:
2006-03-30

The Boston Consulting Group has made a study about Free Software development and found out that about 40% of the Free Software is developed by professionals during their work. This was 2002 i think today the number would be even higher. Just look at all the companies mentioned by Cloudy and there are much more SMBs and SMEs. Or think about Sun and OpenOffice, Open Solaris and OpenJDK. Think about Nokia and their new handhelds etc. Even Microsoft is doing some Free Software (FlexWiki, Windows Installer XML, Windows Template Library).

Edited 2007-01-10 20:40

Reply Score: 3

RE[5]: Nice philosophy...
by John Nilsson on Thu 11th Jan 2007 01:22 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Nice philosophy..."
John Nilsson Member since:
2005-07-06

There are too many of the "free as in beer" crowd.
And how would that be a problem in a market where you don't pay to use software? In an entirely LFOSS market the traded goods would be services related to the software, such as feature improvements, bug-fixing, support, consulting, specialization. The stuff that actually costs anything to produce.

Reply Score: 5

RE[3]: Nice philosophy...
by npang on Wed 10th Jan 2007 11:58 UTC
npang
Member since:
2006-11-26

You seem to be asserting that when the Free software following reaches a certain mindshare, the computer industry will be ruined. You seem to be making the premise that if programmers started following Stallman's ideas, the software industry will be ruined because the programmers will no longer be paid to develop software. I'm not really sure of what you intended though, your original post wasn't very clear to me.

I just want to say that there will always be a software developer paid to improve software as long as software is inadequate and the users aren't capable of improving it themselves.

Reply Score: 4

Excellent speech
by Sphinx on Wed 10th Jan 2007 14:58 UTC
Sphinx
Member since:
2005-07-09

Brother is right, and damn eloquent too, keep on keeping on RMS.

Reply Score: 3

Creative Commons
by mcmv200i on Wed 10th Jan 2007 15:48 UTC
mcmv200i
Member since:
2006-12-14

Though he is very radical, I like Stallman. It is unlikely that without his early technological and philosophical contributions something like FLOSS, free open content, etc. ever existed.

It's okay, he does not approve the "some rights reserved"-kind of CC licences (though I do not 100% share his opinion on that). But at least the CC licenses which include the right to distribuite derative works and use the work commerically [with our without copyleft, with or without correct attribution to autorship] are "free" in his sense. It's a pity he disapproves them, too.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Creative Commons
by Cloudy on Wed 10th Jan 2007 18:58 UTC in reply to "Creative Commons"
Cloudy Member since:
2006-02-15

Though he is very radical, I like Stallman. It is unlikely that without his early technological and philosophical contributions something like FLOSS, free open content, etc. ever existed.

Sigh. Stallman came to the party rather late. free open content had existed since the late 1950s. He contributed emacs, which I love and have used daily for two decades, and one kind of open source license, but if he hadn't been around, very little would be different today than it is.

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: Creative Commons
by cyclops on Wed 10th Jan 2007 19:32 UTC in reply to "RE: Creative Commons"
cyclops Member since:
2006-03-12

I've read your posts, and I'm finding them rather stange.

You make strangle critical of Stallman, of which there is lots to be critical of, and for almost every argument he makes we see daily on here arguments against them.

you include things like he doesn't program like he used to. Which is true. Its clear that he spends on other activities...and yet projects he worked on have continued to grow and develop in his absence. That reflects to me the significance the early work on the project, and the success of the license.

Its clear that Stallman did not invent free and open content, but its clear his efforts where about preserving it. I agree that things would have been little different today assuming that someone else had drive and determination to create software and a license that enforced sharing...but they didn't it was Stallman, so again I fail to see your points.

Your clearly trying to belittle Stallman. I'm starting to get the feeling you have a personal grudge

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: Creative Commons
by Cloudy on Wed 10th Jan 2007 19:50 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Creative Commons"
Cloudy Member since:
2006-02-15

I agree that things would have been little different today assuming that someone else had drive and determination to create software and a license that enforced sharing...but they didn't it was Stallman, so again I fail to see your points.

Things would be very little different today even without the enforced sharing. It's just not as big a deal as people who are unfamiliar with the entire history of freely available source make it out to be.

Your clearly trying to belittle Stallman. I'm starting to get the feeling you have a personal grudge

I'm not trying to "belittle" Richard. I'm trying to bring a does of reality to the rampant mythology surrounding him.

Reply Score: 4

RE[4]: Creative Commons
by sbergman27 on Wed 10th Jan 2007 20:38 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Creative Commons"
sbergman27 Member since:
2005-07-24

"""Things would be very little different today even without the enforced sharing. It's just not as big a deal as people who are unfamiliar with the entire history of freely available source make it out to be."""

It was the Internet that fostered the free collaboration between programmers that we enjoy today. Not Richard Stallman. It would have been quite surprising had a collaborative community *not* sprouted up around the Internet.

Richard's particular talent would seem to be an ability to lay claim to other people's accomplishments in a way that some significant number of people are willing to believe.

I think that's called charisma. Though I've no idea *why* people buy into the deception.

His easy way of abusing the term "Freedom", for his own purposes, is no doubt a key to his success in that endeavor.

Reply Score: 3

RE[5]: Creative Commons
by codehead78 on Wed 10th Jan 2007 21:42 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Creative Commons"
codehead78 Member since:
2006-08-04

Richard's particular talent would seem to be an ability to lay claim to other people's accomplishments in a way that some significant number of people are willing to believe.

I think that's called charisma. Though I've no idea *why* people buy into the deception.


I used to wonder, why did they call themselves the Free Software Foundation? How many times does RMS have to clarify what the "Free" means because of this? Why not call it the Software Freedom Foundation? It would be very clear. But that confusion is a draw for average users. Who doesn't like free?

The truth is, most end users don't believe in Software Freedom, they just like having free software.

I don't care much for his philosophy, since he's really just sugar coating his revenge.

Reply Score: 1

RE[4]: Creative Commons
by cyclops on Wed 10th Jan 2007 20:43 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Creative Commons"
cyclops Member since:
2006-03-12

You said the same thing again, and my original points still stand.

I'm sure we can all sit around and discussing, how anyone can do that, or thats obvious, or it would have happened anyway, about lots of things.

...but its just talk. Richard Stallman *did* and is still *doing* what he believes. Get over it Richard is a footnote in computing history.

Reply Score: 1

RE[5]: Creative Commons
by sbergman27 on Wed 10th Jan 2007 21:09 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Creative Commons"
sbergman27 Member since:
2005-07-24

"""Get over it Richard is a footnote in computing history."""

On this point we can agree, aparently. :-)

Reply Score: 3

RE[6]: Creative Commons
by cyclops on Wed 10th Jan 2007 21:29 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: Creative Commons"
cyclops Member since:
2006-03-12

Then you should have modded me up.

Reply Score: 1

RE[5]: Creative Commons
by Cloudy on Thu 11th Jan 2007 03:46 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Creative Commons"
Cloudy Member since:
2006-02-15

Richard is a footnote in computing history.

Yes he is.

Reply Score: 3

RE[6]: Creative Commons
by cyclops on Thu 11th Jan 2007 04:20 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: Creative Commons"
cyclops Member since:
2006-03-12

Then you should have modded me up.

...Again

Reply Score: 1

SECRET
by Bounty on Wed 10th Jan 2007 17:36 UTC
Bounty
Member since:
2006-09-18

I think Stallman has some interesting ideas, but he also is wrong on MANY things. Free Software doesn't respect user's freedom! If that was the case, the license would read "Here you go, have fun!" Freedom means I can do whatever I want...

Also, why is not giving someone something unethical? In his lecture he goes off on how it's better to violate a license you have agreed to, then to give a nice guy software he wants that you have.

Apparently every time you tell someone a secret it is as if you "deliberately attacked the social solidarity of your community" If Jack tells me a secret and I promise not to tell, I'm not going to tell Jill, even if she's nice.... unless she's REALLY nice. THAT is freedom.

I can't read anymore of this lecture... illogical.... error.... divide by zero.... daisy... daisy

Reply Score: 4

RE: SECRET
by pinky on Wed 10th Jan 2007 17:54 UTC in reply to "SECRET"
pinky Member since:
2005-07-15

>Free Software doesn't respect user's freedom! If that was the case, the license would read "Here you go, have fun!" Freedom means I can do whatever I want...

Which point of the Free Software definition conflicts with your definition of Freedom? Freedom zero guarantees that you can do whatever you want.

>why is not giving someone something unethical?

That's not unethical. It's unethical to forbid someone to share with others.

Edited 2007-01-10 17:54

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: SECRET
by Bounty on Wed 10th Jan 2007 18:17 UTC in reply to "RE: SECRET"
Bounty Member since:
2006-09-18

"Freedom zero guarantees that you can do whatever you want. "
see my other comment, you can't do whatever you want, even if it helps some people.

"That's not unethical." So you agree with me.

"It's unethical to forbid someone to share with others. "
So if I give Larry some ammo, and ask Larry not to share it with Bob my enemy.... that's unethical? right.......

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: SECRET
by sbergman27 on Wed 10th Jan 2007 18:25 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: SECRET"
sbergman27 Member since:
2005-07-24

"""So if I give Larry some ammo, and ask Larry not to share it with Bob my enemy.... that's unethical?"""

It's certainly not as "Free" as if you had given it to Larry without imposing your own political motivations upon him.

If you are going to distribute something and call it "Free" with a capital "F", making a big to do about how "Free" it is, it should really be Free. Otherwise, it is deception, pure and simple.

Richard Stallman is a deceiver, who believes that deception, as a means, is justified by the end.

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: SECRET
by rajj on Thu 11th Jan 2007 05:24 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: SECRET"
rajj Member since:
2005-07-06

If you had bothered to read any of the material about this topic you would know that what is being kept free is the software itself which ultimately guarantees your own freedom. You would also know that this requirement is a GPL one. BSD licensed software is also considered Free Software and has no such restriction.

By requiring that all source code be available to any binary one chooses to run, you are free to do what you wish with it, and freedom zero is fulfilled. Conversely, if the code was not required to remain available, you would not be able to do what you want with it. Freedom zero has now been infringed upon. This is why Stallman believes that a restriction must be placed upon you so that the _code_ can remain free.

I'm not sure where the objection to not being able to take other's work and calling it your own comes from. Is it such a difficult concept to understand that freedom does not mean without rules? Your freedom cannot infringe upon other's freedom.

Reply Score: 1

RE[5]: SECRET
by Bounty on Thu 11th Jan 2007 18:26 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: SECRET"
Bounty Member since:
2006-09-18

rajj This is more of the kind of propaganda like talk.
you claim I didn't read any of the topic... neat. how do you know? Also I didn't say anything about the BSD license, guess you won that argument.

"Freedom zero is the freedom to run the program as you wish, for any purpose. -Stallman"

so if I have the binary, I can't run the program as I wish.... for any purpose? how is the source even relavant to Freedom zero?

Freedom zero "Freedom zero is necessary for a completely different reason........ They restrict how much you can run the program or when, or how, or for what jobs, for what purpose. -stallman"

so now it's my turn. " bothered to read any of the material about this topic? "

Reply Score: 2

RE[6]: SECRET
by rajj on Thu 11th Jan 2007 18:38 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: SECRET"
rajj Member since:
2005-07-06

No, you can't run the program for any purpose if you do not have access to the source. One obvious example is needing to run the program on different hardware or even a different operating system on the same hardware. In the grand scheme of things, if you have access to the source code, then restrictions cannot be placed on how or when you can run the software. The other freedoms merely enforce the first one.

Reply Score: 1

RE[7]: SECRET
by Bounty on Thu 11th Jan 2007 18:54 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: SECRET"
Bounty Member since:
2006-09-18

if I write a program and give you the binary, and say "do whatever you want with it" It's free. That literally means you can do ANYTHING you want with it.

Maybe you don't have the skills to dis-assemble it and make it play mp3's... but it's no different than when I look at the source code for Emacs, I can't make it play mp3's either... especially not on a PS3.

My binary is still more free than Emacs. You can hack mine and sell it.

Reply Score: 1

RE[6]: SECRET
by Valhalla on Thu 11th Jan 2007 23:00 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: SECRET"
Valhalla Member since:
2006-01-24

Bounty wrote:
"so if I have the binary, I can't run the program as I wish.... for any purpose? how is the source even relavant to Freedom zero?"

because you can make changes to the program if it does not work the way you want it to. in order to efficiently make changes, you need the source code.

your logic dictates that free beer is not free, unless you also get the keys to the refinery and make your own beer that you charge money for.

so, now for my beer analogy:

my definition of free beer is that I can drink it for free (use it).

an extra bonus is if someone gives me the recipe so I can change it to better suit my taste (change it).

the obligation I have, is if later on, I decide to hand out beer to others, I am obliged to give out the recipe if they should want it, so that they too can make the same beer and change it to suit their tastes.

under GPL you are free to use the program. you are free to make changes to the program. if you make changes and distribute them, you are obligated to provide the source code so that others can have the same rights that you yourself enjoyed.

if giving the same rights to others that you yourself recieved is not 'free' to you, then GPL is indeed not your licence of choice.

Reply Score: 2

doh!
by Bounty on Wed 10th Jan 2007 17:57 UTC
Bounty
Member since:
2006-09-18

OK dude is soooooooo wrong. full of it...

" Q3c: But they released only binaries.

Richard Stallman: Oh, well then they're violating the licence. The developers need to talk to a lawyer, and you can sue them. "

So all of the sudden when someone violates HIS license it's unethical. Even though those programmers are helping by releasing something usefull! To me that's like suing someone because they showed you a trick, but didn't tell you how it works.

Reply Score: 2

RE: doh!
by tomcat on Wed 10th Jan 2007 21:51 UTC in reply to "doh!"
tomcat Member since:
2006-01-06

So all of the sudden when someone violates HIS license it's unethical. Even though those programmers are helping by releasing something usefull! To me that's like suing someone because they showed you a trick, but didn't tell you how it works.

That's the problem with zealots and radicals: They're always willing to ascribe greater freedom to their way of thinking, unless and until you attempt to apply their own methods and thoughts to their own turf.

Stallman's concept of freedom rests not on the freedom to use software but, rather, on the preservation of his own ideology; that is, preventing commercial software from leveraging and eclipsing free software. That is not freedom, in my opinion. I don't care about his ideology. I care about writing code. To me, the greater freedom would be to get code and do whatever I want with it, regardless of the ideology of people who want to control it.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: doh!
by cyclops on Wed 10th Jan 2007 22:31 UTC in reply to "RE: doh!"
cyclops Member since:
2006-03-12

"That's the problem with zealots and radicals: They're always willing to ascribe greater freedom to their way of thinking, unless and until you attempt to apply their own methods and thoughts to their own turf."

Eh? I'm confused.

"Stallman's concept of freedom rests not on the freedom to use software but, rather, on the preservation of his own ideology; that is, preventing commercial software from leveraging and eclipsing free software. That is not freedom, in my opinion. I don't care about his ideology. I care about writing code. To me, the greater freedom would be to get code and do whatever I want with it, regardless of the ideology of people who want to control it."

Eh?

What on earth are you on about, seriously I've read it about 10 times. I'm absolutely certain that if you write code you can do whatever you want with it.

Licence it however you want; re-license it; let it sit on your hard drive; put it in a skip.

Unless your talking about making a change to *someone else's code*

Reply Score: 3

RE[3]: doh!
by tomcat on Wed 10th Jan 2007 22:42 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: doh!"
tomcat Member since:
2006-01-06

Eh? I'm confused.

Read the original comment that I was replying to. Stallman has no problem with anyone violating a commercial license, but he's more than ready to sue you if you violate the GPL. His hypocrisy is rank.

What on earth are you on about, seriously I've read it about 10 times. I'm absolutely certain that if you write code you can do whatever you want with it.

Licence it however you want; re-license it; let it sit on your hard drive; put it in a skip.

Unless your talking about making a change to *someone else's code*


Why should it matter what I want to do with it? If I want to make a change to it, but keep the changes to myself and commercialize it, that doesn't alter your "freedom" to use the original source code at all. Stallman's ideology is ultimately based on the cynical premise that commercial applications of software will inevitably eclipse those contributed by the open source community -- which I completely disagree with.

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: doh!
by hal2k1 on Thu 11th Jan 2007 01:20 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: doh!"
hal2k1 Member since:
2005-11-11

//Why should it matter what I want to do with it? If I want to make a change to it, but keep the changes to myself and commercialize it//

If you want to do that, you are using someone else's efforts to create a product for yourself to profit from at the expense of yet other people.

That is pure greed. You are asking for money for jam. You are asking for other people to hand you a living.

That is why doing what you suggest is morally wrong, and hence that is why it matters.

People don't want to be ripped off. It is a high priority that authors of free software don't want you to be able to "keep the changes to yourself and commercialize it". That is the precise thing that you may not do ... sponge off the efforts of others, and then charge innocent end customers to support your stealing.

Reply Score: 3

RE[5]: doh!
by Bounty on Thu 11th Jan 2007 18:00 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: doh!"
Bounty Member since:
2006-09-18

hal2k1: "If you want to do that, you are using someone else's efforts to create a product for yourself to profit from at the expense of yet other people.

That is pure greed. You are asking for money for jam. You are asking for other people to hand you a living.

That is why doing what you suggest is morally wrong, and hence that is why it matters. ?"

Who's expense... it's given away? Just like our thoughts on this subject, in this forum. You quoted someone, included it in your post.... did doing that cost tomcat anything somehow? Are you immoral for using his ideas to help define your point? Don't call it FREE if it's not free.

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: doh!
by Valhalla on Thu 11th Jan 2007 02:01 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: doh!"
Valhalla Member since:
2006-01-24

tomcat wrote:
-"Why should it matter what I want to do with it? If I want to make a change to it, but keep the changes to myself and commercialize it, that doesn't alter your "freedom" to use the original source code at all."

it obviously matters to all those developers who choose to licence their code under GPL. and no, I don't think it's so much a ideological choice for most developers as a pragmatic one. if they release their code under GPL, they will be sure to benefit if someone improves/continues on their code and distributes it. hence in that context they will become end-users and recieve the same rights they granted the recipients of their code.

and no, I'm not saying that GPL is the 'best' licence. different licences suits different developers, and I do not argue against people wanting to keep their code propriety or licence it under BSD, MIT, public domain or whatever. just as I can't understand why some people would argue against a developers right to licence his code under GPL.

Reply Score: 3

RE[5]: doh!
by Bounty on Thu 11th Jan 2007 18:13 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: doh!"
Bounty Member since:
2006-09-18

"if they release their code under GPL, they will be sure to benefit if someone improves/continues on their code and distributes it."

So it's not Free, the developers profit from it (not money, but they get someone's development free) And as noted earlier, there are many GPL developers who make a profit somehow from the industry... so I guess they do get $. Interesting....

I agree there should be different licenses, and I like the variety etc. I just also think people shouldn't call GPL software Free as in speech or beer. It's more like Free as in broadcast TV. I DL opensuse and it's basically a big ad for Novell, especially when I want to stop 'playing' with it and use it for real in my enterprise.

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: doh!
by rajj on Thu 11th Jan 2007 05:30 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: doh!"
rajj Member since:
2005-07-06

When has Stallman ever advocated violating a so-called "commercial license"?

Reply Score: 1

RE[5]: doh!
by Bounty on Thu 11th Jan 2007 18:32 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: doh!"
Bounty Member since:
2006-09-18

"When has Stallman ever advocated violating a so-called "commercial license"? -rajj"

Near the beginning of the article we're discussing.

"[Section: Freedom two]

Freedom two is essential on fundamental ethical grounds, so that you can live an upright, ethical life as a member of your community. If you use a program that does not give you freedom number two, you're in danger of falling at any moment into a moral dilema. When your friend says "that's a nice program, could I have a copy?" At that moment, you will have to choose between two evils. One evil is: give your friend a copy and violate the licence of the program. The other evil is: deny your friend a copy and comply with the licence of the program.

Once you are in that situation, you should choose the lesser evil. The lesser evil is to give your friend a copy and violate the licence of the program. -Stallman" followed by [laughter]

I would say maybe he was joking because of the laughter... but then he goes on to explain "It may be the right thing to do, but it's not entirely good."

Reply Score: 2

RE[6]: doh!
by rajj on Thu 11th Jan 2007 19:00 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: doh!"
rajj Member since:
2005-07-06

Congratulations, you took material from a parable out of context. If you read a little farther down near the 00:10:15 time mark you'll find:

"The other is: don't use proprietary software."

For someone accusing other's of using propaganda techniques, I think that was a cut and dried example of one.

Reply Score: 1

stage 2 and Cuban medics
by trenchsol on Thu 11th Jan 2007 22:28 UTC
trenchsol
Member since:
2006-12-07

That "stage 2" reminds me of Cuban medics. Cuban marxists are sending out trained medics, that cure people without monetary compensation, but, during the treatment they must listen bolshevik propaganda.

Linux seems to be carrying a political message along, and people are not likely to change their political views just because they are using certain software. On, the contrary, they are more likely to reject the software in the end.

Maybe the Linux desktop share has to do something with that.

DG

Reply Score: 1